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"Placebo effect is probably what we refer to as patient healing power": A qualitative pilot study examining how Norwegian complementary therapists reflect on their practice

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, May 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (87th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
6 tweeters
3 Facebook pages
1 Google+ user


10 Dimensions

Readers on

57 Mendeley
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"Placebo effect is probably what we refer to as patient healing power": A qualitative pilot study examining how Norwegian complementary therapists reflect on their practice
Published in
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, May 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12906-017-1770-8
Pubmed ID

Trine Stub, Nina Foss, Ingrid Liodden


Complementary therapists spend considerable time with their patients, especially in the first consultation. The communication between patients and their therapists is important for raising consciousness and activation of the patient's self-healing power. Thus, the aims in this study were to delineate what complementary therapists regard as essential in patient consultations, their view of the healing process, and how the therapists understand the placebo effect and its position in the healing process. Semi-structured individual interviews (n = 4), focus group interview (n = 1) and participant observation were conducted among four different complementary therapists in a Norwegian community. The text data was transcribed verbatim and the analysis of the material was conducted according to conventional and direct content analysis. Some codes were predefined and others were defined during the analysis. The pilot study showed that the implemented methods seems feasible and fit well with the aims of this study. Complementary therapists (chiropractor, naprapath (musculoskeletal therapist), acupuncturist and acupuncturist/homeopath) representing four different complementary modalities participated. A combination of the conversation and examination during the first consultation formed the basis for the therapist's choice of treatment. A successful consultation was characterized by a fruitful relationship between the therapist and the patient. Moreover, the therapist needs to be humble and show the patient respect. Patients' positive beliefs and expectations about the treatment play a significant role in the healing process. The more hope the therapist can bring about, the more easily the patient can start believing that it is possible to get well. This was a pilot study. Therefore the findings should be appreciated as limited and preliminary. Therapists' and patients' mutual understanding and treatment goals were essential for a successful consultation. The therapists emphasized their professional skills and therapeutic competence as important when building fruitful relationships with their patients. Exerting authority and making the patient feel confident were essential factors for a successful healing process. The complementary therapists understood the placebo effect as the patient's self-healing power, resulting from establishing trust and belief in the treatment process.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 57 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 57 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 14 25%
Researcher 8 14%
Student > Bachelor 6 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 9%
Student > Postgraduate 3 5%
Other 4 7%
Unknown 17 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 10 18%
Nursing and Health Professions 10 18%
Psychology 6 11%
Social Sciences 3 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 4%
Other 7 12%
Unknown 19 33%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 November 2017.
All research outputs
of 15,920,653 outputs
Outputs from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
of 2,968 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 268,960 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
of 4 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,920,653 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,968 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 7.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 268,960 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 4 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them